Dpt. Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Policy
University of Cordoba
phone-icon (+34) 957 218 457
email-icon berbel@uco.es
Skype julio.berbel


Julio Berbel (UCO) is a full Professor of Agricultural Economics in University of Cordoba where he is coordinating projects related to environmental management and biotechnology. He holds a PhD Agricultural Engineering (Univ. Córdoba) and a Master Agricultural Economics (Univ. Manchester). Publications are in the field of water, agricultural economics, agribusiness and environmental management. He has been consultant and technical assistance to the European Commission (DG ENV-Water), Ministry of Agriculture and Environment (Spain) and Junta de Andalucía for the implementation of Water Framework Directive and River Basin Management Plans. He combines hand-on experience in environmental and agribusiness management sector with academic and scientific involvement.

Research Interests

The research focuses on water economics, focusing in economic instruments for water governance, including water pricing, water markets, water accounting, cost-effectiveness analysis.

Models for policy analysis are based upon mathematical programming at farm level through Multi Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) and Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM).

Water use and efficiency, focused on rebound effect of investment in water saving.

Bioeconomy and circular economyin food and agricultural sectors.

Julio’s current research projects include:

  • National Project (AGL2014-53417-R). EVAMODRE: Evaluation of irrigation modernization in the context of climate change: Assessing of current and future scenarios of Southern Spain basins. (2015-2018).
  • Study on EU Integrated Policy Assessment for the Freshwater and Marine Environment, on the Economic Benefits of EU Water Policy and on the Costs of its Non-Implementation.

Most relevant Peer-reviewed publications


Berbel, J., Expósito, A. and Borrego Marín, M.M. (IN PRESS). Conciliation of competing uses and stakeholder to groundwater: an evaluation of Fuencaliente Aquifer (Spain), International Journal of Water Resources Development. doi:10.1080/07900627.2018.1491392

Berbel, J., Expósito, A., Gutiérrez-Martín, C. and Mateos L. (2019). Effects of the Irrigation Modernization in Spain 2002–2015, Water Resources Management 33(5):1835-1849. doi:10.1007/s11269-019-02215-w

Borrego Marín, M.M. and Berbel, J.(2019). Cost-benefit analysis of irrigation modernization in Guadalquivir River Basin, Agricultural Water Management 212:416-423. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2018.08.032

Expósito, A. and Berbel, J.(2019). Drivers of irrigation water productivity and basin closure process: Analysis of the Guadalquivir river basin (Spain), Water Resources Management 33(4):1439-1450. doi:10.1007/s11269-018-2170-7


Berbel, J. and Expósito, A. (2018). Economic challenges for the EU Water Framework Directive reform and implementation, European Planning Studies 26(1):20-34. doi:10.1080/09654313.2017.1364353

Berbel, J., Gutiérrez-Martín, C., Expósito, A., (2018). Impacts of irrigation efficiency improvement on water use, water consumption and response to water price at field level. Agricultural Water Management. 203:423-429. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2018.02.026

Berbel, J., Expósito, A. and Mateos, L. (2018). The Importance of the groundwater governance in the global change context: A proposal for a Mediterranean aquifer (Llanos de la Puebla, Spain) in Calvache, M.L., Duque, C. and Pulido-Velazquez, D. (eds.), Groundwater and Global Change in the Western Mediterranean Area. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 35-42


Expósito, A. and Berbel, J. (2017). Sustainability implications of deficit irrigation in a mature water economy: A case study in southern Spain, Sustainability 9(7):1144. doi:10.3390/su9071144

Expósito, A. and Berbel, J. (2017). Agricultural Irrigation Water Use in a Closed Basin and the Impacts on Water Productivity: The Case of the Guadalquivir River Basin (Southern Spain), Water 9(2):136. doi:10.3390/w9020136

Expósito, A. and Berbel, J. (2017). Why is water pricing ineffective for deficit irrigation schemes? A case study in Southern Spain, Water Resources Management 31(3):1047-1059. doi:10.1007/s11269-016-1563-8

Berbel, J., Gutiérrez-Martín, C. and Martín-Ortega, J. (2017). Water Economics and Policy, Water 9:801. doi:10.3390/w9100801

Gutiérrez-Martín, C., Borrego-Marín, M.M. and Berbel, J. (2017). The economic analysis of water use in the Water Framework Directive based on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water: A case study of the Guadalquivir river basin, Water 9(3):180. doi:10.3390/w9030180.


Borrego-Marín, M.M., Gutiérrez-Martín, C. and Berbel, J. (2016). Estimation of cost recovery ratio for water services based on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water. Water Resources Management 30(2):767-783.

Borrego-Marín, M.M., Gutiérrez-Martín, C. and Berbel, J. (2016). Water productivity under drought conditions estimated using SEEA-Water, Water 8(4):138


Berbel, J., Gutiérrez-Martín, C., Rodríguez-Díaz, J.A., Camacho, E. and Montesinos, P. (2015). Literature review on rebound effect of water saving measures and analysis of a Spanish case study. Water Resources Management 29(3):663-678.

Berbel, J. and Gutiérrez-Martín, C. (2015). Farmer’s subjective elicited water response function for intensive olives and compromise programming method for irrigation supply decision, Economía Agraria y Recursos Naturales (Agricultural and Resource Economics) 15(2):51-68.

2014 and previous

Gutiérrez-Martín, C., Pérez Blanco, C.D., Gómez Gómez, C.M. and Berbel, J. (2014). Price Volatility and Water Demand in Agriculture. A Case Study of the Guadalquivir River Basin (Spain). In T. Bournaris, J. Berbel, B. Manosand D. Viaggi eds. Economics of Water Management in Agriculture. Boca Ratón, EEUU, CRC Press. Taylor & Francis Gruop, pp. 319-348.

Berbel, J., and Mateos, L. (2014). Does investment in irrigation technology necessarily generate rebound effects? A simulation analysis based on an agro-economic model. Agricultural Systems 128:25-34.

Mesa-Jurado, M.A., Martin-Ortega, J., Ruto, E., and Berbel, J. (2012). The economic value of guaranteed water supply for irrigation under scarcity conditions. Agricultural Water Management 113:10-18.

Berbel, J., Martin-Ortega, J., and Mesa, P. (2011). A cost-effectiveness analysis of water-saving measures for the water framework directive: the case of the Guadalquivir River Basin in Southern Spain. Water Resources Management 25(2):623-640.

Brouwer, R., Martin-Ortega, J., and Berbel, J. (2010). Spatial preference heterogeneity: a choice experiment. Land Economics 86(3):552-568.

Gomez-Barbero, M., Berbel, J., and Rodriguez-Cerezo, E. (2008). Bt corn in Spain—the performance of the EU’s first GM crop. Nature Biotechnology 26(4):384-386.